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LGBTQs v. religion? + ‘Lives Aligned’

Lutheran Bishop Megan Rohrer in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral before her September 2021 installation ceremony
Vincent Donovan
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Sierra Pacific Synod
Lutheran Bishop Megan Rohrer in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral before their September 2021 installation ceremony

“I want to explore this crazy conflict between Christianity and LGBTQIA folks,” says Stereotypes podcaster Christopher Beale. “We’ll open up the Bible and take a closer look at what it does and does not say about queerness.”

This week’s Out in the Bay features Stereotypes‘ third episode, “The Bishop & The Bulletproof Vest,” which examines the relationship between religion and LGBTQ people. Beale gets into it with Lutheran Bishop Megan Rohrer, the USA’s first openly transgender bishop of a major denomination.

It’s an in-depth conversation augmented with music, sound from Rohrer’s bishop installation in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in September, and a smattering of homophobic, transphobic voices from other churches.

Rohrer calmly explains, among other things, that “there’s a lot more gender diversity in scripture than grumpy people might point out” and that “you can’t ever have a debate that’s going to change someone’s mind if what they have is a feeling.”

We finish our half-hour with the title track of Bay Area musician Marilyn Mitchell‘s new album, Lives Aligned. Mitchell was lead guitarist of “all transgender girl rock band Lipstick Conspiracy” – in her Bandcamp page‘s words – for eight years. She’s now lead guitarist of tribute band Nott the Hoople. We hope to have her on Out in the Bay for a full interview and more of her music soon.

Year-end request: Please help us keep bringing LGBTQ news, voices and stories to the world by making a tax-deductible donation to Out in the Bay now. We’ve been promised $1,500 from an anonymous donor if we get that much from other donors by January 1st. Out in the Bay is an independent, non-profit production relying on listener support. We receive no funding from KALW, NPR, nor podcast platforms. Thank you!

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Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.